MHP backs Turkish gov’t on Syria, Iraq campaigns
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has pledged full support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over its latest Syria and Iraq policies, as the Turkish Armed Forces prepare to launch a military operation in Syria’s jihadi-controlled Idlib province.
“A new operation has been launched in Idlib. We would like to see the same to happen in Afrin. All these [locations] should be cleared of terror,” Bahçeli said on Oct. 8 at the MHP’s special gathering under the title “Lovers of Kirkuk” in Ankara.
“Threats that are closely related to our survival can be intervened with in Idlib through the Astana agreement. Traitors should be wiped away from our region,” he added.
“In this process, the MHP will stand by the state and the government in a firm, uncompromising manner in accordance with national interests. We are in the same trench, on the same front line, at the same line,” Bahçeli said.
His comments came after Erdoğan announced on Oct. 7 that “a serious operation” would be kicked off in Idlib province.
The MHP head had also pledged his support to Erdoğan on the same day.
“There is consistency and determination in the honorable president’s policies implemented in Syria and Iraq. I believe developments on Idlib have been formed after a certain consultation,” Bahçeli had told reporters.
“The MHP will stand by the honorable president as long as coherent policies [on Syria and Iraq] continue and there is no step back from the struggle against terror,” he said.
Bahçeli also referred to his Oct. 5 meeting with Erdoğan to discuss future steps that Ankara would take on the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) recent referendum bid.
“In the light of what he [Erdoğan] shared with us during the meeting, it is understood that the honorable president is following the incidents in a multi-dimensional manner and he is in a determined position. In this manner, we wish them success,” he said.
‘Kirkuk’s security linked to Ankara’s’
Arguing that contested regions such as Kirkuk and Mosul are “the lands of Turkmens,” Bahçeli said the KRG’s bid for independence from Iraq, including Kirkuk in the Sept. 25 referendum, constituted a direct threat to the territorial integrity of Turkey and neighboring countries.
“The safety of Kirkuk is the safety of Ankara. If the land of Turkmens is put into the fire, Turkey will not be safe,” Bahçeli said.
“The independence bid is an attempt to resurrect the Sévres [Treaty] and to fracture neighboring countries,” he added, referring to the 1920 Treaty of Sevres which divided up Ottoman territory after the First World War.
“A rehearsal for Kurdistan will affect the future of the Republic of Turkey. It is a question of survival, a matter of sociological fragmentation,” Bahçeli said.